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My Quora Answer to: Is there a shortcut for becoming really good in chess?

Under the best of circumstances, becoming really good in chess is a serious endeavor that takes a considerable amount of time. Millions of individuals like playing chess, but only a few can master the game. What is the reason for this? Chess is, simply said, one of the most complicated games ever devised. Despite theContinue reading “My Quora Answer to: Is there a shortcut for becoming really good in chess?”

How did Morphy and Alekhine get so good at chess?

Question: How did chess players like Morphy/Alekhine get good at tactics without the computers, books, and databases that we have today? Paul Morphy and Alexander Alekhine Answer: Both Morphy and Alekhine were born wealthy in a household that valued chess. Paul Morphy learned chess at an early age by watching games between his uncle andContinue reading “How did Morphy and Alekhine get so good at chess?”

Do strong chess players today possess different qualities than their predecessors in the 1800’s?

Question: Given the increase in chess theory, are different kinds of people likely to be strong chess players now than in the 1800s or earlier (e.g., people with greater memory)? Answer: It’s also important to realize that brute memorization is not a very important factor in chess success. The important factors that the 19th centuryContinue reading “Do strong chess players today possess different qualities than their predecessors in the 1800’s?”

Do you learn chess better by playing or watching?

Question: Do you learn chess better by playing or watching? Answer: Ideally, there needs to be balance between learning by watching examples of strong play and attempting to apply what you have learned through playing chess. Following a study plan will help achieve this balance. Emmanuel Lasker was the World Chess Champion for twenty-six yearsContinue reading “Do you learn chess better by playing or watching?”

(GM) Rashid Nezhmetdinov

Question: Why wasn’t Rashid Nezhmetdinov a Grandmaster? Answer: By most accounts, Rashid Nezhmetdinov should be a Grandmaster (if for no other reason than having won the Russian Championship over a talented field in 1950, 1951, 1953, 1957 and 1958.) It wasn’t until 1950 that the Grandmaster title was first awarded by FIDE and only 27Continue reading “(GM) Rashid Nezhmetdinov”

Basic Chess Strategy

Question: What are some common chess strategies? Answer: Below is a list of chess strategies known as Reuben Fine’s “Thirty Rules of Chess”. Chess is a complicated game and there will always be exceptions to any rule. However, it is a good exercise to understand why each item below is generally recognized as good chessContinue reading “Basic Chess Strategy”

The Grandmaster of Unorthodox Chess!

Question: Who are the most controversial or unorthodox chess players? Why? What do you think of them? Answer: GM Bent Larsen (Jørgen Bent Larsen 3/4/1935 – 9/9/2010) was the greatest unorthodox chess player to have ever graced Caïssa with his devotion. Famous for his innovative and unorthodox style, Bent Larsen was the first Western playerContinue reading “The Grandmaster of Unorthodox Chess!”

The Greatness of Viswanathan Anand

Question: Which Indian GM can replace Vishy Anand? Answer: In a recent interview, Viswanathan Anand likened the the proliferation of chess Grandmasters in India to a “snowball effect.” This common analogy couldn’t be more fitting for how the Anand Effect has so rapidly increased the popularity and skill level of chess in his native India.Continue reading “The Greatness of Viswanathan Anand”

Bobby Fischer Style

Question: What was Bobby Fischer’s playing style at chess? And what was his approach to the game based on the openings he played? And how was it, that such a narrow opening repertoire, made him so machine like? Answer: Bobby Fischer played chess the manner in which chess aficionados trust it ought to be played.Continue reading “Bobby Fischer Style”

A Fine Book on Endgames

Question: What is the best book on theoretical chess endgame positions? Answer: Reuben Fine’s “Basic Chess Endings” is an incredible manual for both fledgling and advance players. While I battled through this book as a beginner, my exertion was paid off with overall improved aptitude in the endgame. Some will feel the intermittent grammatical mistakeContinue reading “A Fine Book on Endgames”

Obstructionist at the Chessboard

Question: What kind of chess player do other chess players dislike? Answer: Sadly, there are players of the trollish influence that after acknowledging they have lost, will neither leave nor move. If tournament directors inform me that any of my chess students engaged in such unsportsmanlike conduct, they are immediately suspended from our clubs. Unfortunately,Continue reading “Obstructionist at the Chessboard”

Fatal Mistakes by Chess Grandmasters

Question: Is it possible for the chess grandmaster to make a fatal mistake? Answer: Alexander Alekhine, the strongest chess player of his time, was found dead, next to a chess board in his hotel room, on the morning of Sunday, March 24th, 1946. The cause of death was stated as “Angina pectoris, aggravated by chokingContinue reading “Fatal Mistakes by Chess Grandmasters”

Luck in Chess

Question: What do you think of the saying “There in no luck in chess”? Answer: It depends on how we define luck and whether we separate the game of chess from its human combatants. If you characterizes luck simply as pure chance then there is no luck in the game of chess, for deep analysisContinue reading “Luck in Chess”

A Plan for Adding New Chess Openings

Question: How do I manage my desire to learn multiple chess openings (I play 1 e4 and suddenly I want to learn the Catalan from a book I bought)? Answer: Perhaps restrict yourself to playing online blitz games with your e4 repertoire on days that start with S and T and attempt to play theContinue reading “A Plan for Adding New Chess Openings”

Backwards Chess

Question: Who can play chess backwards? By playing “chess backwards” I assume you are referring to retrograde analysis chess puzzles. The individuals who appreciate these bewilders enjoy intelligent reasoning yet are exhausted by standard chess puzzles. A well conjured retrograde chess puzzle presents a harmless looking chess position and an apparently difficult to-respond to addressContinue reading “Backwards Chess”

Chess: Super Computer Against Itself

If you had two identical Deep Blue machines playing chess against each other, would each win half the time? No, there still would be a first move advantage for white. I once created an experiment pitting the same version of stockfish against itself in a match consisting of 100 games played with equal amounts ofContinue reading “Chess: Super Computer Against Itself”

My Quora Answer to: Which chess player’s games have you found the most instructive?

José Raúl Capablanca‘s chess delivered and still creates an irresistable masterful impact. In his games an inclination towards straightforwardness prevailed, and in his seemingly effortlessness brilliance there was a one of a kind delight of veritable simplicity. Indeed, his style, one of the most perfect, most completely clear in the whole history of chess, stillContinue reading “My Quora Answer to: Which chess player’s games have you found the most instructive?”

Reader Submitted Question on Spielmann – Capablanca (1928)

Chris, (Child’s name) and I were playing this game and couldn’t figure out why Spielmann won the game (Jose Raul Capablanca vs Rudolf Spielmann 1928) , since it’s not forced mate. Thank you. Best regards, (Parent)     Answer:   Good question! Capablanca is one of my heroes but Spielmann is possibly the most overlookedContinue reading “Reader Submitted Question on Spielmann – Capablanca (1928)”